Thirty-three schools from across Europe will come to Brussels next March to debate their views, hopes and expectations about the forthcoming European elections. They will come up with three proposals encapsulating their generation’s topmost priorities for European Parliament to tackle. The European Economic and Social committee (EESC) will make sure they reach the law-makers.

16- to 18-year old students from secondary schools all over Europe will come to Brussels on 21 and 22 March to share their views and ideas about the 2019 European elections and work together on “#YEYSturns10: Vote for the future! They will debate opportunities and potential risks, and offer their solutions to the current challenges.

The 2019 European elections are expected to be particularly challenging in a context of piled up Euroscepticism and the EESC wishes to raise young people’s awareness in a bid to boost election turnout.

The students will debate on specific questions:

  • What in your view should be done to increase voter participation in the EP elections?
  • How can we strengthen representative democracy in the future?
  • Which kind of political engagement exists beyond the European elections, and how would you take part in it?

During the YEYS plenary, the youth will vote on three proposals for European Parliament to take on board in its campaign for the European elections.

The 33 schools were selected to participate in this initiative by means of an electronic name picker in Brussels on 29 November. One school from each of the 28 EU Member States and five candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) will be involved. A record 1038 applications were received for this 10th anniversary.

Called “Your Europe, Your Say!” (YEYS), the event is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee, the voice of civil society at European level, and is the Committee’s flagship event for young people.

Through this initiative, the EESC aims to ensure that the views, experiences and ideas of the younger generation are taken on board in EU policy making.

Further details about YEYS2019 are available on the event’s official page. Watch the YEYS 2018 video here.